Hundreds of passengers on board the Barauni-New Delhi 12552 superfast Vaishali Express had a narrow escape when a fire that broke out in one of the general compartments (01494) was detected on time.
According to railway officials, the incident took place late Tuesday night when the train left Basti for Gonda, 119 km from here.
The train was chugging along at its routine speed, when smoke and sparks were spotted from above the fan in the general compartment. In no time, the fire spread to the whole compartment and passengers pulled the emergency chain, but the train did not stop.
Panic-stricken passengers started shouting, and the guard noticed the melee and informed the driver on the walkie talkie to stop the train.
The driver brought the train to a halt.
The divisional rail manager (DRM) Vinod Kumar Yadav said all passengers were safe and the bogey in which fire broke out was ‘cut off’ from the train at the Lakhpatrai railway station.
“Prima facie, the reason for the fire appears to be electric overcharging. The incident will be probed,” Mr. Yadav said.
As the train resumed its journey to New Delhi, many passengers refused to board it again. Passengers who were wary of continuing their travel on the train were sent onward on other trains.